Whether you have diabetes or not, you probably know that spiking blood sugar is a dangerous thing for people with diabetes. But why is this bad, and how does it create problems?
Our cells normally have plenty of insulin receptors. Typically, our blood glucose freely and efficiently enters our cells to be converted to energy.
That’s not how it happens for people with diabetes, though. The chronic dietary spikes in blood sugars (from eating the “American” diet) actually cause too much glucose to enter the cells. This creates damage the cells have to deal with.
Remember that cells make up tissues and tissues make up organs like the kidneys, liver, skin, and brain. The excess sugar (glucose) that can’t be converted to energy builds up and leads to “sugar coated proteins.” Another term for these sugary proteins is “Advanced Glycation End products,” or AGE. These AGE proteins are inefficient and can cause damage to your body’s cells and tissues.
The protective response of cells against AGE proteins is to decrease the number of insulin receptors on the surface of the cell. Fewer insulin receptors means that insulin has to work harder to get glucose into the cell to convert to energy.
This is what insulin resistance means. It’s the fundamental problem in Type II Diabetics. Insulin resistance actually is a protective mechanism that is built in to our genetic code, but the effects of this can damage our cells from the inside out.
To your health,
Brian E Lamkin DO